J Voice. 2023 Nov 2:S0892-1997(23)00316-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2023.10.007. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: This in silico study explored the effects of a wide range of fundamental frequency (fo), source-spectrum tilt (SST), and vibrato extent (VE) on commonly used frequency and amplitude perturbation and noise measures.
METHOD: Using 53 synthesized tones produced in Madde, the effects of stepwise increases in fo, intensity (modeled by decreasing SST), and VE on the PRAAT parameters jitter % (local), relative average perturbation (RAP) %, shimmer % (local), amplitude perturbation quotient 3 (APQ3) %, and harmonics-to-noise ratio (HNR) dB were investigated. A secondary experiment was conducted to determine whether any fo effects on jitter, RAP, shimmer, APQ3, and HNR were stable. A total of 10 sinewaves were synthesized in Sopran from 100 to 1000 Hz using formant frequencies for /a/, /i/, and /u/-like vowels, respectively. All effects were statistically assessed with Kendall’s tau-b and partial correlation.
RESULTS: Increasing fo resulted in an overall increase in jitter, RAP, shimmer, and APQ3 values, respectively (P < 0.01). Oscillations of the data across the explored fo range were observed in all measurement outputs. In the Sopran tests, the oscillatory pattern seen in the Madde fo condition remained and showed differences between vowel conditions. Increasing intensity (decreasing SST) led to reduced pitch and amplitude perturbation and HNR (P < 0.05). Increasing VE led to lower HNR and an almost linear increase of all other measures (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: These novel data offer a controlled demonstration for the behavior of jitter (local) %, RAP %, shimmer (local) %, APQ3 %, and HNR (dB) when varying fo, SST, and VE in synthesized tones. Since humans will vary in all of these aspects in spoken language and vowel phonation, researchers should take potential resonance-harmonics type effects into account when comparing intersubject or preintervention and postintervention data using these measures.